Q and A


Do i need to keep taking Septrin?

I started HIV treatment 3 months ago. I am also taking septrin. Do i need to keep taking that?



Septrin  is often given to people a as prophylaxis. This means it is used top prevent other infections. It is often given to people who have HIV.

People are often given it if their CD4 count os lower, under about 200. The stepson helps your immune system fight off infections and the illnesses.

If you do not know why you are taking the Septrin and you CD4 count is high you should ask your doctor or clinic. They will be able to let you know if you need to carry on taking it.


  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Winnie, have you spoken to a doctor about getting headaches when you take Septrin? Only a few HIV ARVs have been linked to liver problems (Nevirapine, Ritonavir, Tipranavir, Efavirenz). Most drugs do have the potential for liver toxicity but this is rare. More information can be found out on out guide for liver-related side effects.

  2. Winnie

    I take arvs without septrin because every time i take septrin it gives me headaches, and can arvs course liver disease?!

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Lucy,

    Septrin isn’t an ARV, it’s an antibiotic, it won’t do anything for your HIV.
    You’ve said you’ve not taken any meds for 7 days, when will you be back home? Depending on where it is that you live, you might be able to get some meds emergency meds.
    Is your viral load undetectable?

  4. Lucy

    Have stayed one week without taking drugs,can I use only septrin,coz am far from hospital

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi polycarp,

    Septrin is an antibiotic and only needs to be taken if someone has a CD4 count of less than 350. (In the UK it’s only taken until a persons CD4 gets above 200) Once a person has a CD4 count higher than 350 it’s no longer needed as the chances of someone developing opportunistic infections are less.

  6. polycarp

    why are patients on ARVs in kenya now told to take them without septrin yet they have done so for years more than 10years.


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